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getting pollen out of flowers -- logistics

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  • Linda Newstrom
    Does any one have a good method for getting pollen grains out of flowers for analysis of nitrogen content? Have heard of letting the flowers (anthers) dry out,
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 3, 2010
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      Does any one have a good method for getting pollen grains out of flowers for analysis of nitrogen content?

       

      Have heard of letting the flowers (anthers) dry out, dehisce and collecting them at the bottom of a paper bag but this will have plant material mixed in perhaps.

       

      Also heard of washing the anthers in distilled water and  then filtering the pollen grains through a sieve.

      Has anyone got any practical tips for this ?

       

      Linda Newstrom-Lloyd

      Mobile 021 385 953

      CHCH +64 383 4047

      Lincoln DD +64 3 321 9853

       

      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Matthew Shepherd
      Sent: Wednesday, 3 November 2010 7:15 a.m.
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Graduate Research Assistantship -- alkali bee environmental assessment

       

       

      NB: I am only passing this along. Please DO NOT contact me for more info. Details of who to contact are at the bottom. Thanks.

       

      ****************************************************************

      Graduate Research Assistantship

      Alkali Bee Environmental Assessment in the Walla Walla Valley

       

      This project will involve a comprehensive environmental assessment of the habitat requirements of the alkali bee Nomia melanderi. The Alkali bee colonies that are established and managed in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington State are the greatest aggregation of native ground-dwelling bees used for pollination in commercial agriculture in the world. The project will involve detailed environmental measurement of the conditions below and above ground in and near alkali bee beds. Techniques will be developed and evaluated to quantify alkali bee population abundance among bee beds. Mitigation efforts will be developed and evaluated to limit collateral bee death from motor vehicular traffic. This is a PhD project and is funded for a period up to 4 years.

       

      A O.50 FTE Graduate Research Assistantship will be provided and tuition expenses paid during academic semesters and a summer hourly wage will be provided. Some subsidized student housing may be available in Prosser, WA on a first-come first-served basis.

       

      For more information contact

      Dr. Doug Walsh
      WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center
      Prosser, WA 99350
      509-786-9287, dwalsh@... (11/2010)

       

       



      Please consider the environment before printing this email
      Warning: This electronic message together with any attachments is confidential. If you receive it in error: (i) you must not read, use, disclose, copy or retain it; (ii) please contact the sender immediately by reply email and then delete the emails.
      The views expressed in this email may not be those of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz
    • Doug Yanega
      ... Scotch tape. Works like a charm getting pollen smears to do comparative light microscopy, I don t see why it couldn t work for your purposes, unless small
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 3, 2010
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        >Does any one have a good method for getting pollen grains out of
        >flowers for analysis of nitrogen content?

        Scotch tape.

        Works like a charm getting pollen smears to do comparative light
        microscopy, I don't see why it couldn't work for your purposes,
        unless small amounts of adhesive would interfere in the analytical
        procedure. A lot depends on the quantity of pollen required; if it's
        a very small amount, a typical tape-strip sample has a pretty fair
        number of grains that are held on not by adhesive, but by adhesion to
        other pollen grains, and these can be dislodged very easily with a
        careful, gentle scalpel blade scrape - resulting in a small pile of
        grains that have no adhesive at all.

        Peace,
        --

        Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
        Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
        phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
        http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
        "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
      • Cane, Jim
        Linda- it depends entirely on the circumstances, which is a prime reason that published studies have worked with some plants and not others. One approach for
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 5, 2010
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          Linda- it depends entirely on the circumstances, which is a prime reason that published studies have worked with some plants and not others.  One approach for bee pollinated plants with small amts of inaccessible pollen (e.g. alfalfa, other papilionaceous legumes) is to let a megachilid bee do it for you, or any other bee that totes its pollen dry.  If you take pollen pellets of honey- or bumble bees, realize that a variable fraction of the dry weight (say 25%) will be nectar sugars, confounding calculations of protein percentage for just the pollen itself.  I’ve done just this, intercepting them back at nests, freezing them, brushing the pollen out of their scopa, checking ID on a slide mount, and using the rest.  Works best for plants dominating a floral display (e.g. farm field, or a comparable natural setting).  For quite a few other flowers, esp. wind-pollinated ones, collect a big bouquet, stand them in water, and place the vase on a sheet of glass.  You’ll get some fallen pollen, and you can augment this by buzzing around the bouquet with a tuning fork daily.  Use a razor blade to plow the pollen around on the smooth clean glass surface, piling it up and into your container.  Steve Buchmann taught me this technique, and it has worked for me in many contexts.

           

          Good luck!  jim

           

          ===============================

          James H. Cane

          USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab

          Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA

          tel: 435-797-3879   FAX: 435-797-0461

          email: Jim.Cane@... 

          http://www.ars.usda.gov/npa/logan/beelab

          http://www.biology.usu.edu/people/facultyinfo.asp?username=jcane

          Gardening for Native Bees: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/plants-pollinators09.pdf

           

          "The obscure takes time to see,

          but the obvious takes longer"
          Edward R. Murrow

           

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